What started as a reunion to remember old times quickly turned into a celebration of the future.  

The idea for a Columbus Crew SC reunion had humble beginnings in August as a tweet from former player Kyle Martino while questions about the future of Columbus’ MLS team circulated. But as hope and optimism around Crew SC’s future grew, so did the idea. The Crew Legends Alumni Match eventually became a reality on a make-shift field at the Ohio History Connection ahead of Crew SC’s final regular season match on October 28. 

Loyal and dedicated Crew SC fans, eager to get a glimpse of the past before heading to MAPFRE Stadium to cheer on the current Crew SC to a playoff spot, came out in droves despite cold and rain to gather around the muddy, sunken pitch.  

While the fans soaked in the glory of all 19 goals (Team Martino earned a decisive 12-7 victory on the shortened field), the players embraced the nostalgia of being back in Columbus

We took a moment to understand what this game really meant to the former players:  

Brian McBride (1996-2003, Striker)

What was your motivation for returning as an alumnus for this weekend? 

“My motivation for returning was always about supporting the fans and city that helped start my professional career and growth as a person.” 

In your words, what does this organization mean to Columbus?  

“The organization means much more than a place I worked.  It goes into the formation of my life - family, friends, soccer career.” 


John Harkes (2001-2002, Midfielder)

What does it mean for you to be back in Columbus? 

“Means a lot to be back. In our days, we had a positive, respectful and  supportive community. Yes, there are turbulent times currently, but we can join together and lift each other and the club up to new heights. Happy to remember the past, and hopefully preserve the future.” 

In your words, what does this organization mean to Columbus?  

“The history and relevance in the community of the Columbus Crew, will always be a special one, it is important to celebrate that special connection, celebrate the incredible supporters, and just purely enjoy each other’s company!” 


Dante Washington (1996, 2000-2002 and 2004-2005, Forward)

What is your favorite memory from your time with Crew SC? 

“This is always a difficult question to answer because I've had so many great memories with the Crew.  However, the one that stands out most is winning the Open Cup in 2002 in Crew Stadium with Lamar Hunt in attendance.  He has done so much for the sport and the league and it was special to be able to repay and show our gratitude with a win in the stadium he built and for him to hold the trophy named after him!” 

In your words, what does this organization mean to Columbus?  

“I’ve been able to see and hear from a lot of people over the years and now of what the team has meant to them.  I’ve seen young kids become adults and parents and begin the tradition of bringing their children to games.  I’ve seen local players, such as Wil Trapp and Alex Crognale from Gahanna where I lived for most of my career, live the dream of playing in front of friends and families in the area where they grew up.  It is stories like this that paints the picture of how deeply entrenched this organization is in Columbus.” 


The Crew SC alumni match provided the storybook ending to the oftentimes uncertain regular season. But if one thing is sure, it’s that the history and legacy of Crew SC will live on in Columbus for years to come. For now, #GlorytoColumbus in the MLS Cup Playoffs!